Deer Park Club Stripped of Liquor License After Pandemic Lap Dances

Secrets Gentlemens Club in Deer Park. Photo by Mira Lerner.

A Deer Park strip club had its liquor license suspended after investigators spotted exotic dancers allegedly giving lap dances in violation of social distancing mandates intended to curb the spread of coronavirus, New York State officials said Tuesday.

Secrets Gentlemen’s Club on Saxwood Street was also serving alcoholic beverages to patrons that were not masks or ordering food, counter to the rule Gov. Andrew Cuomo enacted Thursday that forbids the operation of walk-up bars and prohibits restaurant patrons from drinking without sitting down at tables.

On Friday, undercover investigators spotted the club’s employees and patrons inside, not wearing masks, “including dancers performing, sharing the same stage pole, and giving lap dances in violation of the governor’s [executive orders and state] guidelines prohibiting dancing and adult entertainment during the pandemic,” the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) said.  “When the owner was confronted by an SLA investigator about the problematic dancing, he claimed it must have started without his knowledge after he had left, unaware that he had already been caught on videotape buying drinks for the undercover agents and bragging about getting away with violating the executive orders.”

The other three restaurants targeted by SLA were in Queens, including a pair of bars in Astoria and a Maspeth pizzeria. The strip club is the second bar on Long Island to face such action due to pandemic restrictions.

The suspension comes after the SLA recently suspended the liquor license of Dox, a restaurant in Island Park, for allegedly violating crowd capacity caps intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The allegations come after the governor recently warned restaurants that failure to comply with crowd limits to curb the spread of the virus will result in license suspensions. This week, he reiterated his warning that widespread failure to comply with social distancing and mask mandates could result in a rollback of the state’s phased reopening.

Secrets Gentleman’s Club, which was previously known as Illusions Gentleman’s Club, was the scene of a gang-related shooting that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old man in 2015. A suspect was arrested on federal racketeering charges in 2018 in that case. Four people were also arrested on drug and other charges in February.

Related Story: Island Park Bar Has Liquor License Suspended Due To Social Distancing Violations

Related Story: Not Ordering Food? No Booze For You, Cuomo Says

Related Story: Hamptons Restaurant Crowds May Force Phase 2 Reversal, Cuomo Warns

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